“Get lost!” A heated palm strike shot forward, blasting away the Mist Lord guard.
The man roaring and almost going out of control was Ranser, Razil’s father. His violent behavior at the castle of his father, the Marzel’s family head, may have seemed impertinent, however, in truth it was nothing but justified.
“Enter”. A hoarse voice reverberated throughout the castle.
To its approval, the guards and commander of the family head’s castle made way for Ranser, to proceed from the foyer to the family head’s chamber.
An old man with grave and imposing appearance waited to welcome Ranser.
Ignoring, or rather to angry to pay attention to his father’s own fiery temper, Ranser strode into the large chamber, which overlooked most of the Marzel property, as an azure aura erupted from every pore in his body, lashing at every direction.
“What have I done, father?! What have I done?! An intruder broke into our Marzel territory, came into my home and assaulted my son, your grandson! Putting him at death’s door, and when I summon for the medical team each of my immediate requests are actually all being annulled by you!”
“Quite down, Ranser!” The Marzel family head erupted in rage. “No aid will come to your son, not from inside or outside the family!”
Ranser stared at his father in complete bewilderment, at loss for words for the words coming out of his mouths, words regarding the wellbeing of his own grandson. Before he had the chance to ask for account, his father continued as cold and piercing fluctuations emanated from his person.
“The decree is of the matriarch herself, Ranser, and neither I nor your uncle can go against it! As for reasoning?! Bah!” The Marzel family head was livid. “Razil’s audacity has ticked off a person even the matriarch refuses to meddle with far more than her position demands of her. As such, she agreed to stand back and let Razil face the repercussions of his behavior without interference so long as he is left alive and his cultivation intact”.
Ranser’s mind reeled in trepidation and his face was ashen. His son is to be abandoned by the family?! The issue actually involves the matriarch?! Furthermore, his son dare offend a person of equal or possibly higher standing than the matriarch?!
“Sigh…” All the he could do after getting his father to explain was let loose a thick, heavy breath. His cultivation, his age, his status and overall experience allowed the clarity of seeing things as they are and knowing when they reach beyond his limits.
As if drained from all the hauteur and supremacy he demonstrated before, Ranser now looked like an ordinary, commoner middle age man after a long day of work.
He turned back to leave without saying a word to his father and head of the family, it was not even in him to bow and apologize for his outburst despite knowing everything.
“Ranser”, the family head voice was placid and brought him to a halt. “Razil’s calamity can also be looked as a tribulation, should he will show resolution it could temper his soul and forge his future cultivation path. Not all is loss”.
“I know”. Ranser replied after a moment of silence.
“However”, the family head’s voice turned solemn. “Dare he, or anyone else for him, will later seek revenge… In the matriarch’s own words: ‘The calamity will evolve to a catastrophe that will sweep the entire family into the brink of extinction’”.
A shiver ran across Ranser’s back after hearing his father’s following words.
A young man, eyes closed and legs crossed, dressed in everyday clothes sat beside the entrance of a lengthy tunnel. In front of him sat a black, big humanoid figure, having his right hand resting on the young man’s head.
The two were Zax and his Master, Kartius. The tunnel which entrance was situated near them was the entrance to Grandmaster Kartion’s cave, where they a short time ago been.
Inside Zax’s sea of consciousness black streams of foreign soul energy gushed and assembled to the shape of a dark cloud with bullets like rain.
Salvo after salvo after salvo of soul bullets rained down toward Zax’s soul, only to be confronted by Zax’s own soul energy and engage in a battle of strategic patterns.
Kartius’s soul attack was “Densely Packed Soul Bullet”, Ariel Dauch’s creation, and was a small price to pay, coupled with the fact that it was a friction of the total price and the low popularity of soul attacks, for having Zax registered as Eden Formation’s student and represent the school, as well as the pick of the Dauch family, in the Martial competition.
As for Zax’s defensive measures… The Summit of Eden Formation did not really have any worthy soul defense techniques or formation, so the counter the soul bullets Zax mostly relied on the experience he gained from recreating Superintendent Ten’s Soul Binding soul formation to battle and possibly come up with potential mold for futuristic personal soul defense technique.
A black ray of soul energy combined with dark attribute shot past the Densely Packed Soul Bullet’s clouds, up above them to the top of Zax’s head and was transmitted to Kartius’s arm.
As soon as he sensed Zax’s incoming soul attack, Kartius’s eyes snapped opened, he retrieved his arm and concentrated on surpassing his chance for a taste from a similar Densely Packed Soul Bullet soul attack.
It took the span of two seconds for Kartius to gain his composure and meet Zax’s calm stare.
Shaking his head, Kartius opened. “It’s not good. When it comes to the soul even without the freakish strength yours have, the affinity to soul related technique is far beyond anything I’ve ever seen. Even little sister can’t compare”. Kartius sighed in resignation and then lingering thoughts breached his shut lips. “Be that as it may, it’s still unsatisfactory, Martial son. Soul attacks aren’t used frequently in New Earth because they require physical contact for he cultivator below the third realm to deploy them. Even Martial Mortals don’t bother with them much, according the big brother. But that doesn’t negate the fact that soul attacks can result in the most devastating wounds for a cultivator and when you leave to Ercas Mir who knows what the local’s opinion of the aspect and if there exists more fearsome soul techniques”.
As the date of his Martial son’s departure approached, Kartius showed more and more often signs of uneasiness Zax could do nothing about. Moreover, today was the day Zax bade farewell to his Martial family and the Krikitory tribe. At this time it still pained him when he recalled Laivien’s teary eyes.
“It will be fine, Master”. Zax attempted to reassure him, but considering that there was not a substantial proof to back him up, it was quite difficult.
“Do not be complacent!” Kartius retorted angrily.
His rebuke forced Zax to clasp his hands and answer obediently. “Yes, Master!”
The defining sound occurred around half an hour after the spiritual dual between the Master and apprentice.
Kartius and Zax rose to their feet and hooves virtually at the same time to welcome the new arrival.
Zax was of the youngest generation and Grandmaster Kartion the head of their Martial family. Since he has not seen him in quite a while, Zax had to be slightly more courteous than his Master; therefore he added a brief bow to his greeting.
“Kartius, young Zax”. Kartius said in response as he transformed from his animalistic huge brown stag form to his humanoid one. “Let us sit down and talk”.
Seeing how the two waited for him outside the cave and knowing the current date, Grandmaster Kartion said nothing about changing places, but he already gathered that from his small, secluded territory Zax already depurated.
“Big brother”, Kartius said first. “How was your trip to the Red Rose Beaks tribe? Did you manage to find anything about the Black Core Martial son detected?”
Though the one to ask was Kartius, the one with bated breath and eyes filled with anticipation was definitely Zax. Months passed since Grandmaster Kartius left to seek for him the exact location of the Black Core in the humanity forbidden area which was the private territory of His Valor Ozeyn.
Grandmaster Kartion knitted his stag head brows and closed his eyes, reminiscing the months he spent in the Red Rose Beaks tribe. Finally, after fifteen seconds or so he opened his eyes and turned to Zax.
“I could not find it in the Red Rose Beaks tribe’s treasury”.
A disappointed look immediately appeared on Zax’s face. If the Black Core was kept in some treasury like a valued object that usage is mystery it would at least assure him that no one else will absorb the Black Core and where it is waiting for him.
“But there are still a few things I did find”. Grandmaster Kartion said in the same breath, yet to the impatient Zax it seemed like a big gap separated the two lines. “When mentioned the subject of quality Earth’s Cores, I noticed a mild discomfort in His Valor Ozeyn’s expression. I suspect that he is hiding something. That is the first thing. More troublesome… I caught note of two beasts in human form that should be Martial Mortals. I did not recognize them from any of the tribes in Valgarel, and from their odd attire and their conduct in the Red Rose Beaks tribe it showed that they were not intimidated by His Valor Ozeyn. It is highly possible that they arrived from Ercas Mir, maybe emissaries of one of the five powers. Regrettably it was both complicated and dangerous to gather information about them, all that I know is that they come and go often and traverse unceasingly the surrounding caves around the Red Rose Beaks tribe”.
“Foreigners… are they also looking for a Black Core?” It was Kartius who asked.
“It’s uncertain”. Zax replied instead Grandmaster Kartion who was about to voice his thoughts.
The two humanoid beasts turned to Zax, waiting to hear him.
“If they could detect the Black Cores the same way I do and the one in the Red Rose Beaks tribe was the reason of their appearance, then they should also be able to detect my approximate location. If I was as powerful as how senior Ariel makes the five powers, if I knew about a second Black Core in New Earth and it was my aim, I’ll surely send forces to obtain it. Nevertheless, no one peculiar has gone after me and I’m confident that I could sense even a Martial Mortal if one painted a target on my back”.
Zax’s reasoning drew nodes of concurrence from both his Master and Grandmaster.
“No. As I see it, if they really search of the Black Core in the Red Rose Beaks tribe, I suspect that this was the same area the other Black Core was discovered before it made its way to Ercas Mir in one way or another”.
“That could be it”. Kartius approved.
“A possible scenario if the Black Core is the reason of their stay”. Grandmaster Kartion also said. “However, if that is the case, then it means that one of the five powers possess the Black Core in Ercas Mir and occurring it has just became much, much more difficult than getting the Black Core in the Red Rose Beaks tribe”.
Listening to his big brother, Kartius was about to once more warn Zax when he was interrupted by him.
“I’ll be careful”.
At the outskirt of Kingdom Earth.
Two men stood side beside. Ahead of them, less than ten meters, was a passageway with low entrance.
“Past this passageway there is not turning back, junior Zax, not for a long time. Otherwise you will not be able to leave again without confirming to the Golden Desert Fort, Blessed Army or Luminous Church. If you still have unfinished things to do, this is the last chance I am giving you”. Supreme Ruler Ariel made it clear to Zax.
“I’m ready”. Zax said solemnly.
He said farewell, he said goodbye, he still felt the warmth of all the hugs and heard the crying of all the loved ones, but his sight was straight and resolute.
“Good. Then from this moment on all I will say and ask of you, within the boundaries of my shackles, is to learn and study the world above, to think and contemplate and make calculated decisions”.
The entered the passageway, leaving New Earth.
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